How to Get Better at Prospecting: Our Top Tips
June 14th, 2023
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Learning how to get better at sales prospecting isn’t just a great way to generate more leads for your company. It’s also a critical part of becoming an effective salesperson.
Prospecting is one of the most essential parts of the sales process, crucial for building brand visibility and attracting new opportunities. However, it’s also the most challenging task for 42% of sales professionals.
When you’re pitching products and closing deals, you already have all the information you need to be successful. When you’re prospecting, you’re starting a relationship from scratch.
So, how do you make sure your prospecting efforts pay off?
How to Get Better at Prospecting: Tips for Success
The first step to mastering the sales prospecting process is understanding just how valuable it is to the buyer journey. It’s easy to overlook the value of sales prospecting when most of your revenue comes from closing a deal.
But without the right prospecting strategy, you wouldn’t have any deals to close. While the marketing team might be responsible for capturing the attention of your target audience, salespeople still need to invest in the right prospecting strategies.
Fortunately, there are a handful of ways you can boost your chances of earning results.
Here are our top prospecting tips for sales reps.
- Get to Know Your Ideal Customer Profile
One of the best ways to boost the performance of your sales prospecting strategy is to understand who you’re trying to reach in the first place.
Knowing what types of people are most likely to have an interest in your product or services means you can avoid wasting your time on the wrong opportunities. Create a profile outlining the key demographics, psychographics, and behaviors of customers ideal for your brand.
Think about how you can identify decision-makers in businesses rather than connecting with people too far down in the sales funnel. The better you are at identifying good potential customers, the less work you’ll need to put into qualifying leads and closing deals.
- Create Prospecting Scripts
The chances are you already have scripts you use for selling your products or services to customers, so why not take the same approach with your prospecting method too? A basic script can provide crucial guidance during conversations with possible leads.
It helps you to remember which topics you should be covering and ensure you’re drawing proper attention to your unique value proposition. Scripts can also help you to consistently gather helpful information about prospects. You can ask about their pain points, goals, and needs.
Just remember not to stick to your script too carefully. Think of it as a template rather than something you need to practice word-for-word. Personalizing your conversation will make it much easier to move customers through the sales funnel.
- Warm up your Cold Calling Strategy
A big part of learning how to get better at prospecting is learning how to master cold calling. While phone calls may seem outdated, 69% of buyers still accept calls from salespeople.
However, calling people at random might not deliver the best results. Here are some cold-calling tips you can use to improve the quality of your calls:
- Do a little research: Learn about your prospects a little before calling them so that you can tailor your questions and conversations to their specific needs.
- Ask questions: Don’t just try to sell; use your initial call as part of the discovery process. Learn about your customer’s goals, needs, and challenges.
- Build rapport: Be friendly and warm. Don’t just read words from a script robotically; chat with your customer, give them time to talk, and empathize with them.
- Create an Email strategy.
Cold emailing is one of the most popular prospecting methods in the digital world. Around 80% of buyers say they prefer to be contacted by sellers through email. However, just like random cold calling, un-personalized mass emails rarely deliver results.
When sending emails to potential buyers, think about how you can build an emotional connection. Refer to your contact by name, share insights into what you know about your business, and tie the benefits of your solution to the challenges they might face.
Make sure you have a strategy for sending more than one email too. There’s always a chance your customer could miss your initial message, so follow up in a friendly manner to grab their attention.
- Master Social Media
If you think email and cold calling are the only ways to reach prospects, think again. Social media has emerged as one of the most essential tools for finding new customers. Around 84% of senior executives use social media to support their purchasing decisions.
If you want to learn how to get better at prospecting, learning how to develop a strong social media presence is crucial. Start by refining your profiles on the top channels your customers use. If you’re going to be connecting with B2B customers, LinkedIn is a great place to start.
Think about how you can use social media features, like groups, to connect with many potential prospects at once. It’s also worth learning how to send friendly messages to your target audience through direct messaging tools.
- Build Credibility and Authority
Trust is one of the most valuable things any salesperson can cultivate during the initial stages of the purchasing cycle. It’s how you convince customers to listen to you, and take your recommendations seriously. Around 79% of prospects say they want evidence that their sales reps are “trusted advisors” in their industry.
It’s not enough to just tell customers you’re an expert. You need to regularly demonstrate knowledge of your market, audience, and products or services.
A great way to build credibility and authority is to work on your online presence. Consider posting thought-leadership content on your social media pages or linking to case studies and customer reviews. When interacting with customers, give them access to valuable content that will help them make the right decisions.
Sending documents, case studies, whitepapers, and how-to guides to your customers can help them feel more confident about interacting with you.
- Focus on Helping over Selling
Prospecting might be an important part of the sales process, but the initial calls you have with your prospects aren’t the best time to start showcasing your sales pitch. During this early stage of the sales funnel, the focus of sales reps should be on demonstrating value.
When you contact a potential lead, either via email, social media, calling, or even in person, don’t jump straight in with a description of your products or services. Start with the discovery process, asking questions about the prospect’s industry, the challenges they’re facing, and the goals they most want to achieve. Show your commitment to actually helping resolve problems.
For instance, if a customer explains a problem they’re having with a particular software, you could explain how a previous client had a similar issue and share case studies over email for them to read. If you don’t have an answer to a customer’s question straight away, go away, find a solution, and follow up. This will help to build trust.
- Ask for Referrals
Asking for referrals is one of the best ways to accelerate and improve the prospecting process. 93% of people say they trust word-of-mouth recommendations from other buyers far more than any sales pitch. Plus, if you use referrals to find potential customers, you instantly benefit from a way to break the ice with your customers.
You can ask for an introduction from a previous client or simply reference that customer when reaching out to your new prospect, giving you a greater level of credibility. All you need to do is reach out to satisfied customers who have already benefited from your product or service.
Remember, timing is critical when asking for referrals. Wait until your customer has finished the onboarding process and let you know they’re happy with the solution. Then, politely ask if they can think of anyone in their network that might benefit from the same tools.
- Always Follow Up
Finally, one of the most important things you can do when learning to get better at prospecting is master the art of following up. Ultimately, your prospecting efforts are unlikely to deliver tremendous results straight away. You’ll need to make sure you’re committed to nurturing a relationship.
Don’t just call once or send a single email, then give up. Keep getting in touch with your prospect, sharing new information they might find valuable or helpful. Arrange follow-up conversations where you can discuss any pain points or issues your customer has.
While it’s important to avoid overwhelming your customers with too much contact, you can use your CRM tools to create a strategy for how frequently you should contact each lead.
Master the Art of Prospecting
Learning how to get better at prospecting is simply a process of discovering how to find the right customers, connect with them in the most engaging way, and build relationships. With the right strategy, you don’t just get more potential leads to add to your funnel. You’ll also have an opportunity to strengthen your brand’s reputation and unlock routes for growth.
Prospecting can be a challenging and time-consuming process, but it’s essential to finding potential customers, drumming up interest in your product, and closing deals.
Want to get better at prospecting fast? Learn tips from the experts with 1:1 coaching today. Sign up with HSE to begin your educational journey.
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